I am going to admit something finally that I should have realized a long time ago; my musical voice is an unstoppable force. It is a very large and at times clumsy wild Divabeast that I have been given a lifelong task of taming. No matter how hard I try, I can’t really get rid of him. And, in fact, if I don’t give him the proper attention and performance opportunities, he gets more and more pent up and pretty soon there is a frantic trampling and snorting and pawing of the ground that makes my life so miserable that ultimately I must take action. He’s not entirely keen on practicing either, and you can just imagine what happens when this unstoppable force meets the immovable object of my cello.
It has gotten better over the years mostly because I have had allot of help with taming and refining. But sometimes the world just feels too small for this massive animal. It is a good thing I play the cello and NOT the piccolo (this is for all of you people who have asked me if I wished I had studied the piccolo while I lug my cello up a flight of stairs or onto an airplane).
So now that I have admitted this I want to ask you to not be scared of him, and I will try too. He is actually very sensitive and wants to be loved. He doesn’t bite, he loves Brahms and he won’t do anything morally reprehensible. And I vow to keep working on his manners and learning how to pay the bills. I am trying really hard to love him, even though sometimes he can really cause trouble in my life.
Please be aware that I am not marching on stage for some narcissistic personal gratification, or for attention. Actually, sometimes I truly crave a more normal life. But I don’t really have a choice about this. Sometimes, frankly, I am just plain embarrassed. The whole thing is so ridiculous. Being a musician is ridiculous. And humiliating.
Accepting that I can’t get rid of the Divabeast has made my life much better. I used to lock him away and live a tormented life unintentionally trying to hide, or not even noticing, the muffled growls and grunts. But now I am actually nurturing him and doing my best to give him what he wants. In return he is way less wild and has admitted that he actually really loves people. He tells me that he can’t help his size, or the loudness of his roar, but he can pretend to be small and tiptoe, when needed. Even more wonderful is when he has a chance to take center stage. He transforms into the most beautiful creature, whose purr of gratitude warms to the core. It is the most profound sense of joy I know.